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There's No Time to Differentiate: Myth-Busting DI, Part 2

There's No Time to Differentiate: Myth-Busting DI, Part 2
The microwave oven is a great timesaver for getting any food on the table. Yet it's a taste killer. The more I use the grill and oven to cook meals for my family, the more I experience the diversity of tastes that come from grilled or baked salmon, chicken, and burgers, plus sautéed vegetables. A microwave oven dries everything out, and thus limits the tastes. So why would I not do the same for my students by differentiating based on their needs, instead of using one-size-fits-all methods? Does one-size-fits-all really save time if students haven’t learned? In an earlier post, I looked at a few common differentiated instruction myths. Myth #1 I teach 180 students across five classes. The greater number of students means there is a higher urgency to differentiate. Solution: Put students into small learning teams. Use learning profile cards to form groups based on students' readiness of content concepts. Myth #2 My curriculum is so packed. Myth #3 The class periods are short. Use Time Wisely Related:  Differentiated InstructionATL

“Fliperentiated” Instruction: How to Create the Customizable Classroom In a rapidly changing learning landscape, educators of all stripes still coalesce around two steady beliefs: Students perform best under conditions that activate their preferred learning style. There is no greater predictor of success than a fantastic teacher. Effective teaching has long put the unique interests of the learner up front, allowing teachers to meet the needs of more students more of the time. Call it "fliperentiated" instruction. What Happens Differentiated instruction is noted for, among other features, flexible groupings, scaffolded content, diverse instruction, and student choice. The stubborn part about differentiation, of course, is trying to synchronize the learning of an entire class in which not every student learns or does the same thing at the same time. Getting Started Effective fliperentiated instruction requires careful and intentional planning on the part of teachers. 1. 2. 3. Outcomes and Benefits The payoff from fliperentiated instruction is significant.

Parents' Phone Use Is Taking a Toll on Their Children's Development We see parents on their phones at playgrounds, at restaurants, in cars, seated around dinner tables, on mass transit, on vacation—everywhere. For about five years, I've researched what happens when parents are on their phones, with findings that you might expect: When parents' attention is directed at a smartphone, we talk to our children less, miss their bids for attention, overreact to their annoying interruptions, and think less clearly about what their behavior means. Some cities and municipalities have begun public-service campaigns to increase parents' awareness of the toll their heavy technology use may be taking on child development and well-being. A German boy even organized a rally to protest modern parents' preoccupation with technology. There's good reason to want parents to talk, play, and relate to their children more positively and sensitively. Yet many still felt compelled to dive back into their devices. As parents, we can act, for our own good and as role models.

30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class One day, in front 36 riotous sophomores, I clutched my chest and dropped to my knees like Sergeant Elias at the end of Platoon. Instantly, dead silence and open mouths replaced classroom Armageddon. Standing up like nothing had happened, I said, "Thanks for your attention -- let's talk about love poems." I never used that stunt again. Most teachers use silencing methods, such as flicking the lights, ringing a call bell (see Teacher Tipster's charming video on the subject), raising two fingers, saying "Attention, class," or using Harry Wong's Give Me 5 -- a command for students to: Focus their eyes on the speaker Be quiet Be still Empty their hands Listen. There is also the "three fingers" version, which stands for stop, look, and listen. Lesser known techniques are described below and categorized by grade bands: How to Quiet Kindergarten and Early Elementary School Children Novelty successfully captures young students' attention, such as the sound of a wind chime or rain stick.

Resources and Downloads for Differentiated Instruction Tips for downloading: PDF files can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms -- both as a browser plug-in or a stand-alone application -- with Adobe's free Acrobat Reader program. Click here to download the latest version of Adobe Reader. Click on any title link below to view or download that file. Resources On This Page: Lesson Plans & Rubric - Reteach and Enrich Sample materials used to teach, assess, reteach, and enrich one week's fifth grade math objective: differentiating prime and composite numbers. Back to Top Tools for Data Assessment Teachers at Mesquite meet weekly with the student achievement teacher to review the most recent assessment data and plan instruction for each student accordingly. 5th Grade Math Formative Assessment Tracking Sheet Sample spreadsheet used to track student performance on each objective. Culture Websites & Readings

Why students should study sign language | IB Community Blog It is a common misconception that there is only one universal sign language. In fact, there is an estimated 144 different signed languages, according to the Ethnologue. American Sign Language (ASL), for example, is quite different from British Sign Language (BSL), despite the fact that English is spoken in both countries. Sign languages are as rich, complex and creative as spoken languages, and are composed of hand movements, facial expressions and body language. They were probably the first ways humans communicated, but the first formal sign language alphabet system can be traced back to 17th-century Europe, where it was used for educating deaf children. Today, sign languages are the primary language of many people who are deaf and are also learned by hearing individuals who want to communicate with the deaf community. Learning sign language at school gives students the chance to explore a rich aspect of the cognitive, creative, linguistic and cultural diversity of humanity.

Flipped-Learning Toolkit: 5 Steps for Formative Assessment Editor's Note: This post was co-authored by Aaron Sams, Managing Director of and founding member of the Flipped Learning Network. If you flip your class, you might be able to rid yourself of the bane of many teachers: grading papers late at night. Since the flipped classroom model moves teachers away from the "front of the room," they have more time to interact with students and implement a wide variety of instructional strategies -- including formative assessment. 5 Steps to Check for Mastery One formative assessment strategy has the side benefit of not taking papers home to grade. 1. Assign students work to complete based on one specific objective. 2. Students are told to solve either the even or the odd problems, or perhaps some other combination. 3. Once a student has completed his work, he asks the teacher to complete a check for mastery. They get it. 4. 5. Watch this video clip of Aaron's classroom in action. Flexibility, Efficiency, and Accountability

Put students in charge of their learning On a Monday morning at a junior high school just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, a student teacher enters Room 120 for the first time. Looking to his left, he sees students discussing how to write an appropriate description of a picture they’ve just embedded in the online poster they’ve created for a project. To the right sit two students engrossed in reading novels on handheld devices — one a Kindle, the other an iPod. After a few moments of peering over their shoulders, he asks what they are doing. “We’re looking for articles related to our novels,” one of them says. The student explains that Diigo is a tool that allows you to keep track of websites you like and annotate them for others to see. Another student explains that he is using Goodreads, a social network for readers. Noticing the student teacher’s amazement, I explain that this class will likely be different from the high school classroom he visited previously. Replace tradition with digital learning A new kind of evaluation

Thinking Routines in the Classroom Today Karen Voglesang @NBCTchr teaches children to use thinking routines in her classroom. After participating in Harvard’s Project Zero, she is applying and using the methods in classrooms and with teachers. Learn some thinking routines and how to apply these valuable techniques in your classroom. Karen was the 2015 Tennessee State Teacher of the Year and I interviewed her at the NNSTOY Conference in DC this summer. Listen Now How to Teach Thinking Routines in the Classroom What are thinking routines? 00:09 Vicki: Today we are with Karen Vogelsang or Ms V from Tennessee. 00:39 Karen V: Thinking routines are really an opportunity to allow students to ask questions and really give teachers an opportunity to deepen their understanding of different content knowledge. Karen included photos of students using thinking routines for this post. The “Compass Points” thinking routine is a great way to open up a school year1 01:01 Vicki: So give me an example of how it’s used in your classroom.